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Recombinant distance, network governance and recombinant innovation

JingJing Zhang, Yan Yan and JianCheng Guan

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2019, vol. 143, issue C, 260-272

Abstract: Knowledge networks play a vital role in the organizational pursuit of recombinant innovation. Based on the knowledge network, we propose a new concept of recombinant distance and investigate its effect on recombinant innovation. Specifically, we minutely explore the knowledge network to assess the recombinant distance between the knowledge elements of the focal organization and its alliance partners and to examine whether and how the recombinant distance in a knowledge network affects the focal firm's subsequent recombination performance. Further, we seek to explore how social network governance (i.e., structural and relational governance) moderates the abovementioned relationship. To examine these mechanisms, based on Zhongguancun China Science Park (ZCSP), we construct a unique database that combines survey data, technology alliance data, and Orbis and Patents big data. Based on 6,973,188 granted patents, we create knowledge networks and provide a new measurement of recombinant distance from partners. The empirical analyses reveal an inverted U-shaped relationship between the focal firm's recombinant distance from its partners and its recombinant innovation. Moreover, this inverse U-shaped relationship becomes steeper when the focal firm spans more structural holes or has a lower private–public ratio of alliance partners.

Keywords: Knowledge network; Network governance; Recombinant distance; Recombinant innovation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2019.01.022

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